Amiodarone Side Effects

Common Side Effects

Amiodarone has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people using the medication were carefully documented. As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred and how common they were.
 
The prescribing information for most prescription medications contains detailed information about side effects that occurred in clinical trials, including the exact percentage of people who experienced certain side effects. However, the information for most older medications, including amiodarone, is less precise. In the case of amiodarone tablets, the prescribing information includes general (but not exact) percentages. The prescribing information for amiodarone injections is more detailed.
 
Based on clinical studies, possible amiodarone side effects include but are not limited to:
 
  • Neurological side effects, which occurred in 20 percent to 40 percent of people, such as:
 
    • General feelings of discomfort or illness
    • Fatigue
    • Tremors and other uncontrolled movements
    • Muscle weakness
    • Problems with coordination and walking
    • Numbness, tingling, and burning sensations in the hands, legs, or feet
 
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) side effects, in 10 percent to 33 percent of people, such as:
 
 
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension), in up to 20.2 percent
  • Skin reactions (in about 15 percent), including abnormal sensitivity to the sun
 
Other common reactions, occurring in 1 percent to 9 percent of people, included:
 
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in vision
  • Increases in blood liver enzymes, which could be a sign of liver problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism)
  • Decreased sex drive (decreased libido)
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Sleep problems
  • Heart failure
  • A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • A new arrhythmia
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Liver problems
  • Flushing (sudden warmth and redness of the face, neck, and upper chest)
  • Changes in the ability to taste or smell
  • Edema (swelling due to fluid retention)
  • Changes in the amount of saliva in your mouth
  • Abnormal bleeding or bruising
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea.
 
Rare side effects, occurring in less than 1 percent of people, included:
 
  • Rash
  • A blue skin tone
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
 
You should know that amiodarone remains in the body for months after you stop taking it. Therefore, you may continue to experience side effects even though you are no longer taking the medicine.
 
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